When in fact, both are non-English speakers and are at same level of understanding of English language. Could there be any etymological reason behind this?
Added later- As i can see, people are not so happy with the word 'pleasant'. So let me be more specific, let us assume there is a Spanish and an Asian, both have never spoken English in their lives. A gentleman decided to teach them how to read and after a week, he gave them a paragraph to read. Let us say, I happened to be there when both the speakers were reading it aloud and I found Spanish fellow's diction more pleasant(although both were pleasant).
p.s- This question is not meant to offend anyone. If it does, I apologize in advance. Rather than focusing on unnecessary details, concentrate on the basic question. I know what I described is subjective but this is the case. I don't think I am the only one who has observed this thing.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Janus Bahs Jacquet, TimLymington, anongoodnurse, FumbleFingers, choster Feb 11 '14 at 13:40

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Beauty is in the [ear] of the beholder. What sounds "pleasant" is entirely subjective. – Andrew Leach Feb 11 '14 at 7:59
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    I think the question should be rephrased to eliminate the purely subjective "pleasantness" of a spoken accent. Also, I fail to see how etymology would affect a listener's perception of an accent? – oerkelens Feb 11 '14 at 8:01
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    PC = Politically Correct. A PC troll would be someone overreacting (on purpose) to a perceived non-politically correct statement, i.e. something that might be perceived as discriminatory. – oerkelens Feb 11 '14 at 10:14
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    "What are the reasons why English with an Indian accent is more attractive than English with a Spanish accent to some people and less attractive to others?" might be an interesting question, though it is too wide for this site: Linguistics might be interested. But 'Which accent do you think this person finds more attractive and why?' is off-topic, purely opinion-based, and far too broad. 'Which accent do you find more attractive?' is in addition mildly offensive. And GUESSING is not what we do here. – TimLymington Feb 11 '14 at 11:29
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    Have you observed the majority of people? You have one story, one observation, and you conclude that all girls will prefer to dance with a guy with a Spanish accent? What choice would you make, and can you explain why you would make that choice? You are now asking us to guess a motivation for an action we might not take. If I happen to like carrot cake, could I ask you to explain to me why "most people in general prefer carrot cake over chocolate"? Can you explain to me why "most people's favourite colour is orange"? – oerkelens Feb 11 '14 at 13:39

Spanish is simply closer to English - so the sounds are all familiar and many of the words are as well. People find Spanish itself "pleasant-sounding" as well - this is probably, again because of the familiar sounds and the way those sounds are woven together. Chinese, being altogether different, will cause an altogether different sounding English.

So, essentially, it's a matter of habit and familiarities (even mouth shapes).

  • I'm currently in an English speaking country - and am a Spanish speaker as well. AND I have close friends from China. – d'alar'cop Feb 11 '14 at 9:38
  • Also, I have a lady-friend from India... and I'm even down with some Arab folk. – d'alar'cop Feb 11 '14 at 9:51

This is an entirely subjective judgement. What sounds pleasant depends on the associations the sounds of speech have for the individual hearing them.

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    It could still be the case that some or most native speakers find the accent of native speakers of X to be more pleasant than that of Y, in which case it's interesting to ask why the distributional variations exist. – Chris Taylor Feb 11 '14 at 8:03
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    We cannot conclude that without extensive research into the matter. Experiments have shown, however, that reactions to British accents have nothing to do with the quality of the sounds produced and everything to do with the associations they have: West Country = nice holidays, Midlands – dark, satanic mills. – Barrie England Feb 11 '14 at 8:07
  • @BarrieEngland I have added a little story in question description. It's a general observation. – Sandeep D Feb 11 '14 at 8:10
  • @BarrieEngland That is interesting, do you have a link to those experiments? – Chris Taylor Feb 11 '14 at 8:16
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    The whole question is covered in the chapter entitled ‘Italian Is Beautiful, German Is Ugly’ in ‘Language Myths’ by Bauer and Trudgill tinyurl.com/mb27j5a Here’s an extract: ‘The pleasantness, or otherwise, of a language variety . . . are contingent on the social attributes of the speakers of it . . . [I]t is the social connotations of the speakers of a language variety . . . that dictates our aesthetic (and other) judgements about the language variety’. – Barrie England Feb 11 '14 at 8:25

Whether a way of speaking English is "pleasant" is very subjective and different from person to person who listens to the speaker. As to me, I think it would be more important whether I can understand the speaker or whether I have difficulty in understanding the speaker. Non-experienced speakers often speak a foreign language such as English with all the features of their mother-tongue and that influences, of course, whether you can understand him, more or less. Etymology is the field of philology that tries to find the origin of words and studies the history of words in the course of centuries and their semantic development. So etymology has nothing to do with the way someone speaks English.

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    Ok right. Let me tell you a story and then i'll ask a question. The story is about John Bill who lived in NY. One day as John was returning from work, he was approached by god. God told him that he would lose his natural accent and he has only two options, either choose Spanish accent or Indian accent and whichever he chooses, would stay with him for rest of his life. John replied but i couldn't hear it. As a regular guy, what do you think was his answer? Could you guess his answer and complete the story? I won't judge you. It's off the record. – Sandeep D Feb 11 '14 at 10:05
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    If I were John, I'd say "Indian". My guess is that if you were John, you'd say "Spanish". But John is John, so only God knows :) – oerkelens Feb 11 '14 at 10:30

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